Kalkaji Temple


Kalkaji Temple is situated beyond the commercial complex of Nehru Place in South Delhi. This domed twelve-sided temple is devoted to Goddess Kalka Devi, a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. The oldest section of the Kalka Ji Mandir dates back to the year 1734. It is said that the Maratha rulers looted the temple in the year 1738, after they were defeated by the Mughals in the battle of Talkatora. Somewhere in the mid-19th century, certain changes and additions were carried out on Kalkaji temple by Raja Kedarnath, the treasurer of Emperor Akbar. However most of the building is modern. Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple, especially in October during the nine days of navratrey, when a huge fair is held here.Kalkaji Temple stands on a hill. The temple was built in the middle of 18th century and the oldest portion of the existing temple dates back to 1764. In the middle of the 19th century, Raja Kedarnath, Peshkar of Emperor Akbar II made certain changes and additions to the temple. It is believed that the original temple was used by the Pandavas and Kauravas to worship Goddess Kali. This is a very old temple and the oldest part was built up in 1764 A.D. The Kali Temple in Kalkaji boasts of an existence of 3,000 years, although the oldest surviving portion of it dates to 1764-1771 when the Marathas were in power. Looking at the present-day Kalkaji temple one may find it hard to believe that this shrine to Kali is an antique one, where perhaps even the Pandavs and Kauravs had worshiped during the reign of Yudhisthir, whose citadel of Indraprastha had the fabled fairy gates of which bards sang, much like Homer of old, right up to the time of Prithviraj Chauhan.The modern temple is a 12-sided structure completely made out of marble and black pumice stones. This structure houses the black stone that denotes goddess kali. The temple building is very simple and has no ornamentation as such. There is an inn in the backyards of the main structure known as Kali Dharamshala. The entire structure is devoid of any ostentation and comes across as very plain and simple.